The electronic warlocks K. Meizter and Jonas Aneheim are back with their latest creation, this time around entitled Faint. I have to admit, I have a deep admiration for Jonas Aneheim for his work in both MZ.412 and Pouppée Fabrikk, whose album The Dirt I put in my top three of 2013 list, yet when it comes to his pure ambient project I find myself in more of a dualistic position. Some albums are great, others are, well, not so much. Faint is what you could call a minimal ambient album with tracks composed mostly around a few distinct shapes of sound as well as some odd samples thrown in for added effect. Faint is, ironically, quite the soothing journey with very little to nothing in surprise for the listener. The atmospheres behind the tracks are, for the most part, melancholic in nature, and they bring forth quite a beautiful sensation in all of their simplicity. The image of a place between life and death keeps emerging in my mind, a place of thought and tranquility. Some of the track utilize simple instruments such as some gentle pickings on a guitar with great effect. “Respect”, for example, is an amazing track in its simple yet enchanting melody, played by a piano over the odd ambience.
This album is quite a soothing history, and, in a way, it is a transformative and regenerative journey through the depths of one’s ego. In a way, it is unique in its limited minimal melodies, and my only complaint is that the samples are something of a double-edged sword; sometimes they work brilliantly, sometimes they fail. When they unfortunately fail, the whole song becomes a bit out of tune with its own message, and although this may not be the largest of potential flaws, it still exists blatantly like a big ugly dog in the middle of the room. The slow nature of Faint might be what turns some potential listeners away, but for me it was an exceptionally enchanting experience on many levels. To my surprise, the album kept growing on me with each playback. After a while, the individual tracks began to emerge from what has simply begun as a slow, unintriguing ride.
Faint takes some time to digest, and although that in itself might be a critique, one could say that I may be a biased listener as I prefer the more sweeping and grandiose ambient act over the minimal and intrinsic. This album proved to be one of those rare works that actually started out decent yet grew to be really good after some time on the headphones. The main problem with such an album is probably that I would not have given it time to grow if it was not for my position as a writer and a devourer of electronic music. Perhaps it’s wyrd, perhaps pure chance, but I recommend Faint to fans of slow and mellow ambient. It might take some time, but in this case there is a sparkling gem hidden under an ordinary surface.